[OSM-talk] ASUS A696 PDA/GPS

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Fri Aug 24 08:49:03 BST 2007

At 05:06 AM 8/24/2007, John Wolter wrote:
>My PDA died recently and I'm considering getting a PDA with built-in 
>GPS.  That way I don't have to carry a separate GPS receiver to be 
>able to record tracks.  I'm looking at the ASUS A696.  Anyone have 
>any feedback about this or any other PDA/GPS combo devices?

 From experience, if you are going to use it a lot in cars and/or 
public transport, I'd personally recommend buying a Bluetooth PDA and 
a separate Bluetooth GPS device.  That way you can stick the GPS 
device somewhere for best signal and have the PDA free for adding 
waypoints or what ever you are messing around with at the time.  The 
GPS device is also more robust than a PDA when it comes to flying off 
car dashboards when you go round a corner.  If your GPS device logs, 
it will also keep going when your PDA runs out of battery - certainly 
invest in a bigger PDA battery and/or car charger cable, the PDA 
needs to be on all the time.

That being said, the ASUS PDA/GPS came out top when I compared 
devices a year back.  I ended up buying an HP iPAQ HW6965 because I 
wanted to experiment with its built-in camera and GPS photo 
stamping.  I'm moderately happy with it.  GPS tracks compared well 
when I ran it and a standalone device together in urban areas.  HP 
simply refuses to give any specs about the GPS chip but I suspect it 
is the (older) SIRF II.  It has been reliable and runs about 9 hours 
on an extended battery.  I had to wrote my own logging software but I 
think there are other freeware apps now.  Camera is ho-hum for OSM 
work; resolution OK but extremely slow and unpredictable in both 
taking photos and storing them.  You end up with a passing bus 
instead of the street sign you expected.


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